Who is the Father of Geography? [Eratosthenes of Cyrene]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Aug 3, 2022, 7:35

Father of Geography is a recognition given to the scientist who innovated the term Geography and made relevant studies related to the subject. The word geography comes from the Greek word 'Geographika'. Therefore, geography is considered a science that studies the Earth and its physical features.

It comprises all the people on this planet and how they interact with their immediate environment and natural Earth phenomena. All landmasses, oceans, and seas are part of geography. Father of Geography, Eratosthenes of Cyrene, had a small-scale vision of the planet that enabled him to estimate the circumference of the Earth. The subject physical geography comprises the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere, and the atmosphere.

Who is the Father of Geography?

"Eratosthenes of Cyrene" is known as the father of geography since he was the first person who supposedly used the word geography. This astronomer and mathematician hailed from Ancient Greece and was born in 276 BC. He composed a three-volume series, Geographika, as the head of the Great Library during the reign of Pharoah Ptolemy III.

The lithosphere includes the land and its different features, the atmosphere includes the gaseous blanket around planet Earth, the hydrosphere refers to the water surface and its various characteristics, and the biosphere includes the living organisms found on both land and in water.

These are the branches of physical geography:

  • Biogeography
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Geomorphology
  • Geodesy
  • Environmental Management.
  • Coastal Geography.

Hecataeus Father of Geography - Achievements

  • He created the earliest accurate projection of the world, which is why he is considered the Father of Geography.
  • There were grid lines on his projection that looked like longitudes and latitudes, which we find on maps today.
  • He accurately calculated the circumference of the Earth. There was only an error of 100 miles in his calculation.
  • Hecataeus calculated the circumference of the Earth based on certain factors like the depth of a Syene well. He followed the Sun's directions for determining the circumference.
  • He also introduced us to the leap year and measured the Earth's tilt.
  • The 'Eratosthenes sieve' is an algorithm for identifying prime numbers.

Conclusions Of Eratosthenes - Father of Modern Geography

Eratosthenes, who is the father of geography, is the individual behind the admiringly precise map of the world.

  • His map constitutes grid lines illustrating the latitudes and longitudes different from the contemporary times when we used to plot various places on the Earth.
  • Eratosthenes calculated the circumference or perimeter of the Earth with precision and without leaving Egypt.
  • The Leap Year Calculation that we still use is one of his innovations.
  • The Earth is tilted on its orbital axis was analysed and calculated by Eratosthenes.

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Father of Geography in India

James Rennell is considered the father of Indian geography. He was a marine survey and hydrography expert.

  • Rennell created the first accurate map of the Indian subcontinent in 1783 with geographical data provided by the British Army.
  • It was known as the map of Hindoostan or the Mughal Empire.
  • His work in studying ocean currents and winds is also pioneering.
  • His contribution to the science of oceanography has earned him the title 'the father of oceanography'. He was the first Surveyor-General of Bengal.

Father of Geography: List of Famous Geographers

Listed are some more scientists considered the father of geography, corresponding to various branches of Geography.

Father of Modern Cartography

Heinrich Caesar Berann

Father of Phytogeography

Alexander Von Humboldt

Father of Scientific Climatology

Reid Bryson

Father of Modern Geomorphology

Grove Carl Gilbert

Father of American Geography

William Morris David

Father of Geology

Sir Charles Lyell

Father of Human Geography

Carl Ritter.

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FAQs on Father of Geography

Q.1) Who is the father of geography?

Eratosthenes of Cyrene (part of Ancient Greece) is the father of geography. He was a Greek Geographer and best known for being the first to estimate the earth's perimeter.

Q.2) Who is the father of Indian geography?

James Rennell is called the father of Indian geography. Rennell produced some of the first correct maps of Bengal at one inch to five miles and precise outlines of India.

Q.3) When was the Father of Geography Born?

Eratosthenes of Cyrene is known as the Father of Geography. He is an astronomer and mathematician who hailed from Ancient Greece and was born in 276 BC.

Q.4) Who is the Father of Human Geography?

Carl Ritter is the father of human geography. He is most renowned for his 19-volume work on how geography affected human history.

Q.5) Who is the Father of Modern Geography?

Carl Ritter is the Father of Modern Geography. His work was mainly focused on the solid form or the continents, the fluid form or the elements, and the bodies of the three areas of nature.

Q.6) What is the meaning of father of geography in Hindi?

प्राचीन ग्रीक स्कॉलर एराटोस्थनीज (Eratosthenes) को “भूगोल का जनक” या “व्यवस्थित भूगोल का जनक” माना जाता है। क्युकी एराटोस्थनीज ने पहली बार Geography शब्द का व्यवहार किया था।

Q.7) Who is referred to as the father of physical geography?

Alexander von Humboldt is known to be the father of physical geography. He published Cosmos and founded the study of biogeography.

Q.8) Who is regarded as the father of economic geography?

Paul Robin Krugman is regarded as the father of economic geography. He was granted the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008 due to his main contributions to economic theory.

Q.9) Who is Considered as the Father of Political Geography?

Friedrich Ratzel is recognized as the father of political geography. His work was published in 1897, and he was the first to use Lebensraum ("living space").

Q.10) Who is The Father of Geography in India?

James Rennell has been called the Father of Geography in India. He is popularly known for his pioneering work on oceanography or scientific study of the ocean as the Father of Oceanography.

Q.11) Why is Hecataeus known as The Father Of Geography?

Hecataeus is considered "The Father Of Geography" because he thoroughly explained the Mediterranean Sea, islands, and waterways and described the general outline of all the world's countries.